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Waiora — having a purposeful connection to our natural environment

Waiora is our physical and spiritual connection to our natural environment, wai (waters), whenua (land) and hau takiwā (air). Waiora acknowledges that we share whakapapa (genealogy) with our environment. By finding ways to support its wellbeing, we often find we enhance our own.  

“I love going for walks along the beach – just having the wind and listening to the sound of the waves, it’s really grounding and it’s just beautiful.”


Certificate in Health and Wellbeing

Ways to connect to this whetū

  • Embrace opportunities to spend time or study outside, feel the rays of the sun, the fresh breeze or the shade of a tree. Sometimes something as simple as hearing birds sing can bring a moment of joy.
  • Learn more and broaden your perspective by connecting to ancient knowledge about whakapapa according to mātauranga Māori. It shows us how we are all connected, both with others and our environment.
  • Where possible, create a dedicated study space that feels safe, warm and full of light to give you the best chance at having a positive energy in your study area.

“Nature plays a big part in my wellbeing, especially for my mental health. Juggling study and mahi at the same time, things can get overwhelming. Being out in nature brings a sense of calm to my wairua.”

Tereeza - Certificate in Whānau Ora

Explore each whetū of Te Pae Māhutonga

Mauri ora | cultural identity
Waiora | physical environment
Toiora | healthy lifestyles
Te Oranga | participation in society
Ngā Manukura | leadership 
Te Mana Whakahaere | autonomy


Knowing where Te Pae Māhutonga is, tells us where we are. We can learn and work best when these different areas of our oranga (health) are supported. Some of them may be stronger than others at different times – you may need awhi, guidance or simply time to explore different aspects of Te Pae Māhutonga throughout your journey and at different times of your life.

Learn more about Te Pae Māhutonga

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